"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things.....Points of Pain.....

In my professional life, I have been taught, and have operated from the premise that to most effectively negotiate, sell, or close a deal you need to have a good understanding of the other sides’ business points of pain.  If you can do something that eliminates those points of pain, there is a strong likelihood of success in any business transaction.  All good and true until recently when I decided to get some help to try and understand some of the points of pain in my personal life.  And it has hurt – deeply – but I’ve come to realize how essential this process will be for my own well-being. Today’s M5T goes out on a limb discussing and dealing with personal points of pain.

1.  Recognize

The start of any change is to identify the root cause.  Sadness, loneliness, depression, risky behavior and insecurities are but window dressing on the real reasons for our points of pain.  Physical and/or emotional abuse, unmet needs, rejection, loss and betrayal can be massive points of pain.  They are outwardly and masterfully concealed, unseen by those around us yet torment us inwardly us for years, stunting our personal growth, our innermost peace and happiness, and our ability to love… not only ourselves, but others.

2.  Determine

Determining our real needs and working towards an outcome of resolving our points of pain is critical, yet easier said than done.  It often feels like two steps forward and one step back – sometimes detouring down side-trails.  But no matter how slowly, it’s positive progress and change.  Stop thinking about perfection and accept personal flaws and shortcomings.  Determine to get out of your own way.  Know that you’re not alone; many others are silently going through the same things and struggle with the same issues.  And they have endured.  Just like us.

3.  Accept

Accept that change – particularly with deep seated issues we battle with – is difficult and be can frightening and sometimes paralyzing.  Accept that there are consequences, good and bad, to change.  The trauma, shame and guilt from points of pain can easily be hidden in our day of “perfect” social media lives. Accept that you’re not perfect and start living a life that is uniquely yours, without pretense or fabrication.  Accept that you have been knocked down – perhaps many times – and realize that you have gotten back up, and believe that you can get back up as many times as you need to and want to.  Accept that the root causes of your points of pain have actually made you stronger… a survivor.

4.  Unwrap

Unpack your points of pain.  Reflect on your past, and even if you don’t believe it today, realize that you actually can move on.  Write your thoughts down, talk about it with someone you can really trust or get some professional counseling.  There is no quick fix; this is for you to walk through.  No one should dictate the process or your timeline for transformation.

5. Change

Dealing with points of pain requires change. Some massive, some seemingly impossible.  Yet to move on will require making a conscious decision to change.  Choose to change your bad behaviors or negative patterns of responding and communicating with those closest to you.  Refuse to buy into the toxicity of guilt, shame and cynicism, the seduction of holding onto grudges, the emotional ease and comfort of wallowing in self-pity or the shallowness of the unsustainable pleasure that comes from seeking revenge on those that have hurt you the most.  Accept the lessons learned from your failures. Take a chance trusting.  Cling to the very foundations of your faith and embrace the freedom found in realizing that you, as a person are not defined by the root causes of your points of pain.

Here’s to a week of recognizing and determining to accept living and working through your personal points of pain, whatever they may be.

© 2018 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved. 

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business.  He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe, and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.  

You can find M5T each Monday here on southmag.com  and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook.  Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine.  His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome.  Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com